California Journal of Politics and Policy
What Factors Determine Support for a Parcel Tax: Evidence From Survey Data
- Author(s): Means, Tom
- Fatehpuria, Abishel
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5070/P2cjpp7428927
Oftentimes, survey data is used to gauge voter interest in supporting a ballot measure. In 2012 The City of Mountain View, California conducted an Affordable Housing Parcel Tax Feasibility Survey to see whether its residents would support a ballot measure. They conducted a phone survey of 400 likely November 2012 voters. As part of the survey questionnaire, the city was interested in whether voters could be persuaded to support a parcel tax through a set of pro and con arguments. The city wondered if it would be worth the effort to inform voters before deciding whether or not they favored the proposal? We obtained the raw survey data collected by City of Mountain View. The survey asked residents how likely they would support a specific parcel tax rate and whether they would change their support based on a set of pro/con arguments. We estimated several logit models that included several control variables to see the impact of providing more information to a likely voter. Our results show that prior beliefs about taxes in general and whether people support subsidized housing strongly determines the likelihood of predicting support, or lack of, for a parcel tax, and that pro/con arguments have small and contradictory effects on changing voter opinions.